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TD calls for minute silence to mark International Day Against Violence Against Women

25 November, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó'Snodaigh TD has called on the Dáil to hold a minute silence to mark International Day Against Violence Against Women.

At Order of Business today, Deputy Ó Snodaigh called for the Dáil to mark International Day Against Violence Against Women "by the observation of a minute's silence at 11:00 am in memory of the 107 women murdered in Ireland since 1996 and in recognition of the ongoing pervasiveness of violence against women in Irish society."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh went on to say:

"Nearly half of all Irish women experience some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime. Nearly one fifth of Irish women have been abused by a current or former partner, and fully one quarter of all violent crimes in our country involve a man assaulting his wife or partner. These statistics are positively horrific and demand urgent action. I am convinced that if these statistics reflected a level of violence directed against any other group it would be treated as a national emergency. Well, it is a national emergency.

"The truth is that we need more than a moment's silence once a year. What we need is to muster the collective political will to finally tackle this pervasive social problem. But the fact that the Government won't even concede one minute of parliamentary time to allow policymakers to recognise the lives lost or permanently destroyed is compeltely outrageous. They say they don't want to set a precedent, and I think that is the most callous thing I have ever heard said on this issue. I have been pursuing this ever since I was elected to office and I will continue to pursue it until it gets the public attention it deserves." ENDS

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